As UrbanFUTURE continues to enhance its programming model to prepare city school students for the workforce, we are placing more emphasis on our Real World Business Partner (RWBP) relationships that provide our students the necessary exposure to people working in a myriad of jobs that await them. Through RWBPs, students learn what suits them for future job opportunities and what classroom subjects pertain specifically to the jobs they could be interested in. At the schools, the embedded UrbanFUTURE staff is then able to work with the student on aligning future career interests with current classroom responsibility.
What elements comprise a Real World Business Partnership?
Two things primarily, 1) Human Capital - the gift of service. To expose our students to the future world of the workplace requires the dedication of volunteer mentors, career speakers, Discovery Lab presenters and field trip tour guides. Volunteers from our business partnerships ensures that UF students are working with career-driven folks that can share their knowledge of the workforce and their chosen profession. 2) Financial Capital - the investment in our infrastructure. To adequately prepare our students for the workforce requires UF staff to manage volunteer relationships, work with teachers to connect classroom learning to eventual career opportunity, oversee DiscoveryLab and field trip experiences, manage parent leadership and engagement programs, provide soft skill training, create internship and summer job opportunities, manage transition into post-secondary schools, and purchase supplies, tools and software for our students.
Real World Business Partner Agreements
Through written agreements, or MOUs, RWBPs work with UF staff to fashion a partnership that works for them. Elements may include, Mentors, Discovery Lab instructors, Career Speakers, Field Trips, Internships and Summer Job opportunities; Funding for a designated number of students for a year – it is through capital investment that we are able to guarantee that our students receive the supplemental education, exposure and training to aptly prepare them for the workforce.
What is in it for a RWBP?
Current RWBPs have reported it has helped their employees personal growth by giving them greater purpose which has translated into happier more productive employees. Knowing their company invests in those without the same opportunities they had, creates a unifying bond between company and employee. Both employee and company find satisfaction in knowing they are providing a pathway to students from diverse and underexposed backgrounds to discover, prepare and join them in the workforce. Our city is strengthened - in the wake of recent unrest in Ferguson, RWBPs see this as a productive and tangible way to contribute to strengthening St. Louis' future generations.
Will YOU help bring the FUTURE closer?
As an investor in UrbanFUTURE, we are turning to you for help. Would your company give consideration to becoming a RWBP? We know that many businesses in various sectors are experiencing a shortage of qualified applicants and with your partnership, we'd like to change that for our city. The best way our UF students can become properly prepared is through the exposure that you and your company can offer them. For further discussion please contact me directly at email@example.com or phone 314.504.0182.
Frank Van Bree